Obama's Speech Tackles Controversy

Ad Feedback

As far as big moments go, this was a big one. Barack Obama tackling the controversy involving Jeremiah Wright, his ex pastor and friend for years.

"Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity," Obama said.

Wright's sermons have become an unwelcome distraction for Obama.

In his speech, Obama made clear to outright reject these views:

"They expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country," he said.

"Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely," he added.

Obama's critics wonder why he just didn't leave the church.

"I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and YouTube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way," he said.

But Obama says that's not the whole story.

"The man I met more than 20 years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor."

Obama took the opportunity in the speech to go beyond the divisive words Wright was using and instead pivot to discuss racism in this country and the anger felt by some African Americans.

"The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning," he said.

Obama's main campaign theme has been about unity and change and he implored black Americans to not get stuck in anger.

Obama also had some straight talk for white Americans.

"What ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed," he said.

And yet at the same time, Obama says some white Americans are labeled racist when that's just not the case and offered a challenge for black Americans.

"To wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding."

Log in or create an account to post a comment.  

CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!

Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting? Are you facing a difficult situation?

Find peace with God, discover more about God or send us your prayer request.

Call The 700 Club Prayer Center at 1 (800) 823-6053, 24 hours a day.

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.

David Brody

David Brody

CBN News Sr. National Correspondent

CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming by cable, satellite, and the Internet, 24-hours a day. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.